Chepstow Castle - A Toddler ExploresAfter days of rain we had the promise of a dry, sunny day so off we went to Chepstow Castle. Only a few miles from our home in Cardiff and another excuse to use our CADW membership.
We didn't research it at all, just jumped in the car and off we went. Well, I say jumped in the car, we filled the car with everything we'd need for a week away and then went back for everything we'd forgotten, then enticed Bear into the car with promises of castles and running about a lot.
We followed the sat nav and it took us to a car park above the castle. £2 for 4 hours, a bargain. Next to the car park is a path that winds its way down a steep hill to the castle. Passing picnic tables, masses of garlic in flower and totally safe for a toddler to run around.
|The path down from the car park|
|Down, down and here's the castle!|
|Bear can't wait to get going again|
Eventually we found ourselves near the front of the castle and directly in front of us, a car park. Yes, directly outside the castle is a car park, with spaces, at the same price. Never mind, we had a lovely walk and we also have the
We entered the castle via the shop which has lots of steps but there is a gate to avoid the steps. The staff are very helpful and offered to open it for us as we had the buggy.
Inside the shop was a knight. He told us he had a dragon's tooth around his neck and he let Bear touch it. He said he'd killed the last dragon but Bear didn't believe him because Bear saw a dragon at Caerphilly Castle.
|Bear doesn't believe the last dragon is dead, he's seen one.|
|Lots of slopes for roly poly's|
|I'm off exploring|
|Whoops! Careful Bear!|
We met another Knight on horseback. Bear was a little wary at first, then decided the horse was friendly and gave it a kiss. Awww.
|Bear is not sure...|
|Bear kisses the horse's leg. How cute.|
Then we found the puddle! Oh joy our journey wasn't wasted, this is what Bear had been looking for. Lots of splashes and wet trousers. We didn't worry, the sun was out and it was getting really warm.
|Bear splashing away happily|
For those of us who love the views and ruins there are plenty here. The Wye looking majestic although very brown. The drop from the castle unscalable.
Throughout the ruins there are gems, the 800 year old castle doors (the oldest castle doors in Europe), a mill stone, figures on the tops of the tower. The great hall built in 1067, just a year after the Norman invasion, is the oldest surviving stone castle in Britain. The Earl's chamber is closed for repairs so that is a great excuse for us to visit again.
|Going clockwise starting top left: Chepstow Castle front view; 800 year old door; vaulted ceiling; mill stone; great hall; view through gate towards Chepstow|
|Left: Bear and Grandad with river Wye behind Top: Bend in the River Wye Middle: View towards Chepstow and the bridge|
Bottom: Muddy banks at base of cliff
|Tiny figures on the top of the tower|
|The playground at the top of the hill.|
We stopped at the playground for Bear to have a go on the swings and for us to sit and have a coffee, we always take a picnic. The playground is a bit big for Bear, the slide is really high and Bear just liked to sit at the top. Two children about 6 or 7 were there and they had a great time.
We just loved the sunshine, getting to the castle early and having it to ourselves is fantastic too. Entrance prices are the usual for CADW sites £6 per adult, family ticket £16.20 and under 5's are free.
We love castles and so does Bear. We need some suggestions for the summer. Do you have a favourite castle?
*we paid for our CADW subscription ourselves.